In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith… may prove to be for praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7
My kids aren’t very good at accepting disappointment. It’s probably because I used to try and keep life easy for them, fun and trouble-free.
They’re older now. Like change, disappointment is one of those constants in life: it will always be there. If I don’t succeed in teaching them how to deal with it now, they’re going to struggle as adults.
I’m big into code words and catch phrases. Once I’ve taught my kids a big life-lesson, a catch phrase is a quick verbal reminder when they backslide. I’ve been searching for one for overcoming disappointment for a while now. I finally found it when commemorating the events of 9/11.
I was reflecting on the heroics of the passengers and crew on board the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93. Through cell phone calls, they learned the fate of the other three airplanes hijacked that morning. They quickly deduced that their plane was being used to further the terrorist plot. Consequently, they fought back, causing the plane to crash into a field in Pennsylvania, rather than its intended target: possibly the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Camp David, or a nuclear power plant. Right before they took action, one of the passengers, Todd Beamer, was heard over an open phone line saying, “Let’s roll.”
Instead of being paralyzed with fear or devastation, the passengers and crew rose above. They took the absolute worst situation and used it to save lives. They became the glimmer of hope we all needed on that tragic, tragic day. I believe it is their actions that have inspired others to take heroic action against terrorists across the globe.
In tribute to them, I made our catch phrase for overcoming disappointment: “Roll with it.” Although the disappointments my kids face don’t even rate when compared to Flight 93, it is a great reminder that there isn’t a problem where good can’t be found.
If my kids surrender to any difficulty, just sit and wallow in it, they’ll never see or find that good. Instead, they need to take whatever comes their way and make the best of it, find the silver lining, make lemonade out of lemons, etc.
I have to practice rolling with it too. Worry is what trips me us the most. But the same rule applies: if I don’t look for the good in the midst of the worrisome situation, and just wallow in it, I get trapped in a spiral of anxiety. There is absolutely no benefit in that spiral at all.
You can be sure the crew and passengers aboard Flight 93 were worried, downright scared; but that didn’t stop them from moving forward. It was in the moving forward that hope was restored: for them, in making a difference in the world; for us, in highlighting that good can overcome evil.
I don’t ever want my kids to be in such a high-stakes position as the people aboard that flight; and I certainly don’t need them to be heroes on such a grand scale. All I want is for them to grow through, and beyond any and all setbacks that come their way. With the reminder of “Roll with it,” and all that it stands for, hopefully they’ll become more resilient people, and heroes over the problems in their own lives.
Questions For Reflection:
* Have I taught my children how to work through disappointment and setbacks?
* Do I apply the same rules to myself?